22 Nov 2004

Fiji Labour Party includes coup convict in its by-election preferences

10:42 am on 22 November 2004

The Fiji Labour Party is facing strong criticism for placing a coup convict ahead of several others in its preference distribution for next month's by-election for the North East Fijian Communal constituency.

Labour has given Josefa Savua, a candidate for the pro-coup Conservative Alliance and brother of the former police commissioner Col Isikia Savua, its fourth preference ahead of an independent candidate and the SDL candidate.

The general secretary of the National Federation Party, Pramod Rae, says Josefa Savua, who has already served his prison sentence, is best remembered by the people of Fiji as the major who marched a group of army reservists into parliament to support the coup.

Mr Rae says despite, this the Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry has signed documents giving Mr Savua preference over two other candidates.

Mr Rae says Labour's actions confirm beyond any doubt the party's political deviousness and treachery of the Indo-Fijian community and the innocent victims of the coup.

Mr Rae says after the last general election Labour tried forming a coalition with the Conservative Alliance, even though at that time George Speight was one of its elected MPs.

Mr Rae says the latest episode illustrates once again that that political expediency and connivance are Labour's belief, NOT principles, justice and fair play.